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Knockeen, Co. Waterford


Thank you to David Betts Photography

Put The Kettle On and raise a glass to a new Racing Post Arkle hope

November 17, 2019

The cheers that greeted Put The Kettle On's success in the Racing Post-backed Arkle Trial at Cheltenham would not have been out of place at the festival itself, writes James Burn.

And that may be good practice for connections as they are dreaming of a return in March.

Trained by Henry de Bromhead, the five-year-old impressed at Prestbury Park on Sunday and Michael Dermody was buzzing.

He part-owns the winner with his brother John, who was speechless after losing his voice, their mother Mary and Keith Phelan.

"We knew she had a chance because she's a great jumper," Michael Dermody said. "I know she was coming in under the radar against some fancied horses, but we knew she had a chance.

"We come over every year and to have a runner, let alone a winner like that, is beyond our wildest dreams. She wasn't in any of the ante-post betting for the Arkle, but she will be now!"

Notebook takes step up in class in his stride

November 16, 2019

Notebook surged clear in the closing stages to run out an impressive winner of the Elliott Group Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown.

Henry de Bromhead saddled two leading fancies in the two-mile Grade 2 contest and it was the Gigginstown gelding who proved the class act.

Rachael Blackmore was in the saddle, aboard the German-bred, and he raced prominently throughout.

The 11/4 shot moved through to dispute with 5/2 favourite Eclair De Beaufeu four from home and was driven into a narrow lead two out.

Notebook asserted before the final fence and big jump at the last sealed matters. He galloped on strongly on the run-in to post a five-length winning margin.

Not without a scare but Royal Thief comes good after favourite backers

November 07, 2019

Much to the relief of favourite backers the Thurles.ie Maiden Hurdle changed markedly from before the last. Royal Thief (11/10) powered home to win in the hands of Rachael Blackmore.

Third and sixth in bumpers since debuting with a hurdles third placing at Naas in February, there was big confidence behind the Fame And Glory gelding returning off a 188 day break.

Front-running Shanwalla, the second market choice, still looked in pole position to take this extended two and three quarter miler between the last two flights.

However Royal Thief, third at that stage, went into overdrive from before the last.

The five-year-old victor overcame an eighth flight mistake to ultimately prove a length and a quarter and three lengths superior to Oscar Montel and the aforementioned Shanwalla, after taking over on the run-in.

De Bromhead & Blackmore win opening two races at Cork

November 03, 2019

Trainer Henry De Bromhead and jockey Rachael Blackmore combined to win the opening two races at Cork today, completing the feat in the Paddy Power Onside App Mares Maiden Hurdle with last season's capable bumper performer Minella Melody.

Previously placed twice at Graded level in bumpers at the Aintree and Punchestown festivals, Minella Melody today made all when justifying 4/6 favouritism and beating Earthiest Words by two and three parts of a length.

De Bromhead and Blackmore had earlier won the opening race with Tiger Voice and following his second winner, De Bromhead stated “she (Minella Melody) did it the hard way, jumped brilliant and Rachael was delighted with her and she will come on plenty for the run.

“I thought it was a good race going in to it and all week I was wondering did I have her fit enough. 

“She'll come on plenty for it if she did happen to win here today, I was hoping to aim for the 2m4f Listed Voler La Vedette Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in December. There are a lot of good mares around at the moment but hopefully we'll be there with them.”

Clonmel Brace for Blackmore

October 31, 2019

Unfortunately Indian Music pulled up injured before the fourth last but for Rachael Blackmore and her many followers there was a happy outcome to the Clonmel Handicap Chase as she doubled up at Powerstown Park on Kavanaghs Corner.

Blackmore took the previous race on Tintangle for Gordon Elliott. In the card’s penultimate contest she was aboard Kavanaghs Corner for Henry de Bromhead.

The winner crossed Steer Clear’s path two out. Steer Clear ‘missed’ that obstacle and there was quickly a telling gap between the pair.

The eventual runner-up worked hard to peg Kavanaghs Corner back on the run-in but on outing two for the Waterford yard he held on well enough by a length and a quarter.

"It was a super ride from Rachael. She did a great job on him and got him settled and then he was able to get into the race handy enough," said de Bromhead.

Plan of Attack prevails at Aintree

October 26, 2019

Plan of Attack won impressively over fences at Aintree with Aiden Coleman on board.

'Savage Form' stands Dancing on My Own in good stead

October 26, 2019

Dancing On My Own dominated from the front in the Casey Cattle Slats Maiden Hurdle over an extended two miles in Wexford.

Henry de Bromhead's charge has a fourth in a Grade 1 in his locker and looked a cut above his rivals in this company and so it proved.

He had the pursuers toiling off the home bend and increased the gap two out. From there he won as he pleased and eased 28 lengths clear at the line with Rachael Blackmore in the plate.

Those who backed the 8/13 favourite didn't have a single moment's worry. Notice To Close came in a remote second at 20/1 with Champagne Paddy third at 7/1.

Henry de Bromhead said: “We're delighted with that. It's nice to see him come back to the form he showed last year.

Blackmore avoids the trouble in Punchestown double

October 15, 2019

Jan Maat avoided the early drama in the four runner Grade 3 Ladbrokes Acca Buck House Novice Chase at Punchestown today as owner Gigginstown House Stud and jockey Rachael Blackmore combined for doubles on the Henry De Bromhead trained winner.

Five to four favourite Daly Tiger raced with a little exuberance under Mark Walsh in the early stages and had improved to lead at the third fence before his saddle began to slip forwards. By the fourth fence the partnership was in front but was also in trouble with Walsh, now riding without irons and a badly slipped saddle, pulling Daly Tiger up before the fifth.

Swordsman was giving chase in third place at that fourth fence but himself crashed out leaving the other pair, new leader Jan Maat and chasing Cool Colonnade to complete. Jan Maat was never put under any serious pressure by Cool Colonnade with seven and a half lengths separating the pair at the line.

Afterwards De Bromhead said “obviously it was made a bit easier but he jumped great and it’s lovely to win a Grade 3. He’s done really well and deserved to win one. He came up against Wicklow Brave a couple of times, and hopefully he’ll keep progressing over fences. 

“The Craddockstown is a possibility but we’ll see what everyone wants to do; he has been busy and on the go since the summer. Ground would also be important to him.”

Notebook shows his class in Punchestown Opener

October 15, 2019

The Henry de Bromhead trained Notebook ran out a comfortable winner of the opener at Punchestown this afternoon, the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Beginners Chase. 

A winner of a point-to-point at Dromahane when trained by John Nallen, the German bred son of Samum since claimed a maiden hurdle at Tramore on New Year's Day.

Second in a Grade 3 at Thurles in February, the six-year-old bay was well-fancied to make a winning start over the larger obstacles today, going off the clear 5/4 favourite.

Settled in second by Rachael Blackmore, he improved to lead from three out and extended his advantage away from the last, going on to score by two and three parts of a length.

Eclair De Beaufeu (7/2), who like the winner is owned by Gigginstown House Stud, filled the runner-up spot under Jack Kennedy for Gordon Elliott, while Advantage Point (10/3) was eleven lengths back in third.

Spyglass Hill performs well around Limerick's course

October 12, 2019

Spyglass Hill secured his first success in the David Fitzgerald Memorial Handicap Hurdle at Limerick.

Hugh Morgan was content to track Theatre World in a close second in this three miler before the pair assumed the lead over the sixth.

They went for home after the penultimate flight and held a good cushion over Theatre World approaching the last.

Spyglass Hill wasn't for stopping and kept on well to post victory by seven lengths at 6/1.

Theatre World took the runner-up berth at 4/1 with nothing coming out of the chasing pack.

Fit To Be Tied (25/1) finished best of the rest in third, beaten 12 lengths by the winner.

Henry de Bromhead said: "We were going chasing but we thought he was entitled to one more go at a hurdle so it was nice to get it.

"He was very immature last year and the penny is only now starting to drop with him. I had a concern fitness-wise but he had done plenty work and was pretty straight.

"Hugh said he got an easy lead in front and the horse really enjoyed it and it all worked well."

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